Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but with plenty of options on the market, the decision can quickly become overwhelming. While we may get distracted by sleek looks and the power under the hood, finding a vehicle that gives you lots of space and allows you to pack away plenty for the weekend – without the price tag of a 4WD – is a no-brainer at the dealership. As a result, it’s no shock that SUVs have become such a popular choice for Aussie motorists. But which model should you be looking at, and should you be looking at small SUVs, or potentially mid-size SUVs or even something larger?
To help narrow down the search, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases a monthly report on the top-selling cars in Australia, showing which models are proving most popular on our roads. Check this page for regular updates on the best-selling SUVs, with October 2023 top-sellers listed below:
- Toyota RAV4
- MG ZS
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota Prado
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Ford Everest
- Hyundai Tucson
- Mazda CX-30
- Kia Sportage
- Toyota LandCruiser
#1 Toyota RAV4 – 2,598 sales
Selling over 2,500 units in October, the Toyota RAV4 is available in GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge varieties, giving motorists plenty of choices to get behind the wheel of. Drivers can also choose from a 6speed manual or 6speed automatic for the majority of the RAV4 range, with the Edge coming equipped with an 8speed auto transmission, with 2WD or AWD options – including electric AWD – additionally available on most models.
Available with Toyota’s Safety Sense – which includes features such as Pre-Collision Safety, Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitors – RAV4 models primarily come equipped with a 2.0L hybrid engine, while the Edge packs a 2.5L petrol engine under the hood, suitable if you’re looking to put your foot down.
#2 MG ZS – 2,537 sales
First launching in 2017, the MG ZS is a crossover SUV from SAIC Motor-owned MG, and currently only offers the Excite model, although previously offered the Excite Plus and Essence models for drivers to get behind the wheel of. Selling over 2,500 units in October, the ZS Excite includes features such as LED daytime running lights, an 8inch touchscreen infotainment unit and 17inch alloys, alongside rear parking sensors and EPS power steering.
The Excite is powered by a 1.5L engine and is front-wheel drive, and additionally comes equipped with synthetic leather trim, leather steering wheel, roof rails and a 6-speaker audio system for driver and passenger comfort while out on the road.
#3 Mazda CX-5 – 2,509 sales
Mazda’s flagship SUV model, the CX-5 is proving is still has what it takes in the SUV market, selling over 2,500 models for October. The CX-5 is available in multiple models, including the Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT and Akera, the CX-5 provides plenty of comfort and safety for drivers, with the 360° View Monitor and a 7inch LCD infotainment unit available on select models, with the Mazda Radar Cruise Control for additional comfort.
Now available with a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine – capable of churning out 140-170kW of power – the CX-5 also contains i-ACTIV AWD, which utilises real time data from 27 different monitors to improve driver safety, regardless of the conditions. For those looking to put the foot down, a Kuroi Sports pack is additionally available for purchase, as are 19inch alloys and cargo illumination, to help personalise your ride.
#4 Toyota Prado – 2,320 sales
One of Toyota’s more popular vehicles, the Prado sold over 2,300 units in October. Available in a number of models, including the GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu, each with 4WD and a 2.8L Turbo Diesel engine, providing plenty of grunt.
With five and seven-seat options available for families, the Prado includes Active Traction Control, Hill-start Assist and a 9inch touchscreen infotainment unit, with the Kakadu model equipped with Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, Adaptive Variable Suspension and Multi-Terrain Select to make your journey (both on-road and off-road) comfortable. With bullbars, weathershields, and roof racks also available as additional extras, the Prado would be a useful addition in any lifestyle.
#5 Mitsubishi Outlander – 2,238 sales
One of Mitsubishi’s more popular models, the Outlander sold over 2,200 sales in October. Soon to unveil its fourth generation, the Outlander is available in either a 5-seater or 7-seater model, making it handy for motorists, regardless of how many you’re taking on a road trip.
Including Mitsubishi Motors Intuitive Technology – known as MiTEC – the Outlander includes safety features such as Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist, along with Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control for an easier trip, regardless of where you’re going. The Outlander is also available in either 2WD or AWD to help you tackle what’s in front of you.
#6 Ford Everest – 1,803 sales
First rolling off production lines in 2003, the Ford Everest is currently in its second generation, with the model selling over 1,800 units in October. Available as multiple models, including the Everest Ambiente, Trend, Sport and Titanium, with most models available as either a rear-wheel drive model or with 4WD capabilities.
The entry-level Ambiente features a 3.2L diesel engine, along with a 6-speed auto transmission, two USB ports, 8inch infotainment unit, 4.2inch instrument cluster, Sat Nav, 17inch alloy wheels and rear park assists, while the Titanium features a 2.0L bi-turbo diesel engine with a 10-speed transmission, capable of putting out 157kW of power.
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#7 Hyundai Tucson – 1,762 sales
The flagship SUV model for the Korean brand, the Hyundai Tucson sold over 1,700 units in October, with a range that includes the Active, Active X, Elite and Highlander varieties for drivers to test out. With multiple engine types available across the Tucson range, drivers can opt for a 2WD or AWD model, with Hyundai additionally including Australian Tuned Suspension to suit the typical Aussie road trip.
With a Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) for increased road safety, the Tucson range also includes LED headlamps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as Bluetooth connectivity, with the top of the line models available with a panoramic glass sunroof and heated steering wheel for those chilly mornings. Additional features include water resistant seat covers, bike racks and a portable cooler for when you need to keep chilled drinks close at hand.
#8 Mazda CX-30 – 1,646 sales
First going on sale in 2019, the Mazda CX-30 is one of the newest additions from the Japanese brand, having been modelled on the fourth generation Mazda 3. Made to be the middle ground for those not sold on the slightly smaller Mazda CX-3 or larger CX-5, the Mazda CX-30 proved to be a popular alternative on Australian roads, with over 1,600 units sold in October.
Available in multiple models, including the G20 Pure, G20 Evolve, G20 Touring, G20 Astina in addition to the G25 Touring and G25 Astina, the Mazda CX-30 includes an Active Driving Display to help you keep an eye on your vitals, a 360-degree View Monitor to help keep an eye
#9 Kia Sportage – 1,529 sales
With the S, SX, SX+ and GT-Line models available, the Kia Sportage has become an increasingly popular model for the Korean model, selling over 1,500 models in October. With petrol and diesel engines available on each model, you can also choose between manual and automatic transmissions with the majority of models, with select models also coming equipped with AWD.
The S model comes equipped with 17inch alloy wheels, an 8inch touchscreen infotainment unit, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, daytime running lights and LED headlights, while the SX includes Sat Nav, a 12.3inch infotainment unit, front parking sensors and 18inch alloy wheels, giving you plenty to choose from, with more features included in the more expensive models.
#10 Toyota LandCruiser – 1,450 sales
Another of the Japanese manufacturer’s large SUVs model on the list, the LandCruiser is a common sight out on the roads, owing to its 1,400 sales in October. Toyota’s longest running series model, the LandCruiser is a popular option for those who prefer to stick to the bitumen, or those who like to adventure off-road.
With a range that consists of the GX, GXL, VX and Sahara models, the LandCruiser is available in five, seven or eight-seat models, giving you plenty of room for the family. Powered with a 4.5L Turbo Diesel engine, the LandCruiser has plenty of grunt to get you where you need to go, along with a Multi-Terrain Select system to help the ride on the bumpiest of roads. With a 6.1inch LCD touchscreen or an Electro Multi Vision Screen for all your tech and comfort needs, drivers can expect satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, with Rear Seat Entertainment systems in the Sahara model to keep the kids happy on those long road trips.
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Which SUV should I buy?
While seeing what other people have bought may be a good starting place if you’re in the market for a new car, the decision will be unique to your situation, as well as your preferences. Those with a larger family may be more inclined to look at large SUVs such as the Toyota LandCruiser, while those who prefer an SUV but aren’t willing to spend big may be interested in the smaller MG ZS.
As with any big decision, it’s best to do your research before you step into a dealership, as factors such as fuel economy, safety, technology and extras could all sway your final decision, with each brand and SUV usually available with a variety of models. Comparing SUVs may be time-consuming, but will have been worth it when you get behind the wheel of your dream car, knowing you drove away with a good deal. And if you’re looking for something a bit smaller, why not check out our guide on the best-selling small cars in Australia.
Photo Credit: Toyota